I’ve been continuing my new and improved Little Learning Parties, and this is my fourth. System-wide we are focusing on shapes, but since the holiday threw me off, I put together a favorite theme. I always have an abundance of jungle and farm materials, so this time I went with jungle.
Starry Safari by Linda Ashman
See The Little Monkeys Sleeping (to the tune of See the Little Bunnies Sleeping)
I’ve made a point of repeating this new-to-us rhyme for the past few weeks and it’s really paid off. I can tell that they love the rhyme more when they remember it. This time they kept asking to do it again and again. I think we did it three times.
I’ve never read this book, but other blogs have summarized it really well. After all the pieces have been added, and baby monkey comes home with his silly picture, I ask the kids what they think momma monkey said. Then I ask the parents to tell the children what they would say.
Intermission: Dancing with scarves to I Just Can’t Wait to Be King from the Lion King soundtrack.
We wiggle and then I end by asking them to sit and say, “shhh.” It helps to bring the energy back down.
Bedtime in the Jungle
This can be sung to same tune as Over in the Meadow. My kids weren’t very into this book today, so I cut it short halfway through.
I do this as a flannel story using clipart. When they all fall in, I break out a squirt bottle and spritz the crowd with water. You would think there would be some child who didn’t want to be sprayed, but they all want more.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear-ish game with fingerpuppets
Pictured above are ten animal finger puppets that I got from Ikea last year. I dump them all in my lap and pick them up one at a time saying, “Oh a shark! What does a shark do? That’s right, he chomps and swims. Blue shark, blue shark, what do you see? (pick up next) I see a green frog hopping toward me. What does our friend the frog eat for breakfast? Pancakes? I don’t think so. What about bugs? Green frog, green frog, what do you see?” It’s a really informal way to talk about what we know about animals. I always save this for the end because once you get kids talking like this, it’s hard to get it to stop.
Then we made a paper plate turtle. Afterward, the kids returned to the props and played with the scarves and flannel sets.
This style continues to work really well for me and for the kids. New people who come always say how much they like it and promise to come back, which is a great feeling.